Tag Archives: phantom billstickers national poetry day

Poetry Shelf noticeboard: Given Poems for National Poetry Day 2020 – the winners

GIVEN WORDS thanks everyone who sent their poem with the five words chosen from Las Moscas (‘Flies’) by the Spanish poet Antonio Machado. They received 144 poems and have made a selection from these to publish here on Given Words. The winning poems have been selected by the poets Mikaela Nyman, Jordan Jace and Charles Olsen. (You can read about them here.)

You can read the judges’ comments here.

GIVEN WORDS is delighted to announce the winning poets. The winner of Best Poem is Stuart Airey for his poem I am a Blue Whale Heart, and the winner of the Under-16 category is Sarah-Kate Simons for her poem Attic. They will receive books courtesy of Landing Press and The Cuba Press respectively as well as being translated into Spanish and published on Palabras Prestadas. More details of the book prizes can be found here. Congratulations from Given Words, Landing Press and The Cuba Press.



Below are the winning poems. You can read the judges’ selection of the rest of the poems from adults here and from under-16s here. All the entries had to contain the words: letter, childhood, fly (the animal), greedy and dream.

I Am a Blue Whale Heart

In this current re-make of me I am becoming the heart of a blue whale
I dreamt myself an angel but this wasn’t enough
He was wondrous but stuck
like a fly in amber

You can hear a whale heartbeat from 2 miles away
which is the distance I want to be from unleavened nurse smiles
and the choice of ensure or tube

No tampering with the drip lines
Friends I am un-distending
I wonder as my zipper finds free air
whether Eve had to eat the whole apple

I liked my angel
counting calories and grams together
his feather vane minutiae

A whale heart aorta is as big as a dinner plate
Why does food have such gravity?

My angel’s face was an open letter
to each whispered treatment
our greedy midnight exercises

A whale heart – blue – is as heavy as a Lion (adult, male)
which is exactly what you need
for beautiful dying

I wish I could take my angel’s place
sleeve my childhood into the wall

When a whale dives deep its heartbeat slows
slows in the black to 2 beats per minute
just 2 beats left to still to marble

 

Stuart Airey, Hamilton

Attic

all the days of childhood collected in sepia
photographs in the crevices of
the boards watching the greedy dust
descend to settle on their faces

age has curled up their edges into love hearts
like the shape she used to replace the dots on
her i’s; tiny lopsided hearts that flood the pages
of the stack of letters resting in the bottom of
the rickety suitcase, its faded travel stickers

peeling off and flaking away like the nails on fingers
pressed to an anxious mouth and these funny little
dreams of things swirl up like moths from the piles
of outgrown clothing and fill the air with their wing powder
turning the musty scent of forgotten things into a phantom

of lily of the valley; the lid of the harpsichord crammed against
the broken dollhouse is propped open on a sewing box
and in the murk of memories there’s a song tiptoeing up the keys
— or is it just the bluebottle fly scratching its wings
against the windowpane and whining to be set free

 

Sarah-Kate Simons, age 15, Canterbury

Stuart Airey lives in Hamilton with his wonderful wife and has three children who have mostly left home. He writes poetry as therapy or possibly for more perplexing reasons. He has been a Sarah Broom finalist and was shortlisted for the Julia Darling Memorial Prize. Stuart has been published in the Molotov Cocktail Journal with a short story and third place in the Shadow Poetry Award. These successes have managed to pay for several cups of coffee. He has dabbled in multi-media performance poetry and dreams of being a jazz pianist. His poem entry for given words is an honest attempt to enter the thoughts of those suffering from anorexia as well as being more widely read.

Sarah-Kate Simons is a 15 year old home-schooled girl from rural Canterbury. Her day job consists of schoolwork and volunteering at her local wildlife park, where she gets to walk the llamas. She loves to go on biking and tramping holidays with her family, and tries her hand at all sorts of arts and crafts. She is also the proud owner of a very naughty puppy named Missy.
Sarah-Kate eats, breathes and sleeps writing in all its forms—poetry, flash fiction, short stories and novels. She can often be caught talking to thin air as she tries to figure out time travel for her latest novel or peeking into nooks and crannies in search of her next poem.

Poetry gifted to the nation on Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day

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Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day celebrates 20 years on Friday 25 August and gifts to the nation, inaugural online poetry Collection 20/20.

The 20/20 Collection features poems by many of New Zealand’s best loved poets, including C. K. Stead, who ends his two-year stint as Poet Laureate on Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day. Stead was one of 20 acclaimed poets asked to select one of their own poems for inclusion in 20/20, as well as a poem by their favourite or emerging poet. The 40 poems that complete the Collection reflect the diversity and vibrancy of our literary talent. The 20/20 Collection is free to download here

The acclaimed poets featured in the 20/20 Collection are: Jenny Bornholdt and the poet she chose, Ish Doney; Paula Green and Simone Kaho; Vincent O’Sullivan and Lynley Edmeade; Apirana Taylor and Kiri Piahana Wong; Alison Wong and Chris Tse; Tusiata Avia and Teresia Teaiwa; Kevin Ireland and Gregory Kan; Diana Bridge and John Dennison; Andrew Johnston and Bill Nelson; Michael Harlow and Paul Schimmel; C.K. Stead and Johanna Emeney; David Eggleton and Leilani Tamu; Elizabeth Smither and Rob Hack; Richard Reeve and Michael Steven; Robert Sullivan and Ngahuia Te Awekotuku; Bill Manhire and Louise Wallace; Selina Tusitala Marsh and Reihana Robinson; Cilla McQueen and David Holmes; James Norcliffe and Marisa Capetta; and Brian Turner and Jillian Sullivan.

The 20/20 Collection features work by living New Zealand poets with one exception: Tusiata Avia’s selection of a poem by Teresia Teaiwa. Sadly, Teresia died of cancer in March, aged just 48. She was a much loved and influential figure in Pacific studies, and ​the New Zealand Book Awards Trust committee, who convene Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, hopes that her inclusion in 20/20 encourages more people to seek out her important creative and critical work.

Award-winning writer and Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day spokesperson, Paula Morris says, “Lots of people do talk about this as being a really great time for poetry in New Zealand, and one reason is that there are a lot of new young voices coming out that really reflect New Zealand as it is now. You see a huge amount of diversity; you see younger people writing and publishing books and younger people appearing on stage, and you see Asian writers and Pasifika writers and Maori writers. Poetry is where they are often first emerging.”

To celebrate Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, many of the 20/20 poets will take part in more than 100 events nationwide. For full information, including places, venues, times, tickets and more, go here

2017 National Poetry Day calendar launched

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2017 CALENDAR OF EVENTS IS LAUNCHED!

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day offers its most ambitious and wide-ranging programme of events yet.

This year’s packed programme features more than 100 dynamic and accessible events, workshops and competitions, featuring acclaimed poets, new voices, young writers, and poetry enthusiasts. From Slam Poetry to sonnets, from stages to pavements, poetry will be created and enjoyed in a myriad of venues around the country: cafes, bars, schools, university campuses, community centres, retirement villages, marae, libraries and theatres – as well as on buses, trains and ferries.

For full information about all events, including places, venues, times, tickets and more, go to the Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2017 Calendar of Events.